LITTLE VALLEY - Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School's varsity and junior varsity basketball players raised more than $2,000 for breast cancer awareness recently.
Working under the guidance of girls' basketball coach, Diana Moore, both the boys' and girls' squads cooperated in the fundraising effort, culminated by a basketball game played Feb. 16.
The teens' campaign vastly exceeded last fall's drive, which was sponsored by the volleyball teams and netted $725 for the same cause.
Pink was the color of the day for the girls’ basketball teams, as they dedicated their game to a fundraiser called Hoops for Hope. Coach Moore (far right) and her sister, volunteer assistant coach Daleen Opferbeck, stand at the right of the top row. Megan Roll, the other girls’ basketball coach, stands at the far left. Diana’s nephew, Derek Opferbeck, front, is the team’s mascot.
Although the boys’ pink was a bit more understated, it nonetheless showed their strong support for the Hoops for Hope drive.
"That was our first try," Ms Moore said. "We learned some lessons from that and put them to use this time around."
Moore coaches not just girls' basketball and volleyball for the school but also softball. She also substitutes as a classroom teacher, usually at the middle or high school level.
In working on the fundraiser, the youth gathered "shot pledges," in which contributors promised a given contribution for individual game scores like two or three-point shots, foul shots, and rebounds. However, the teens and their coaches were quick to credit the drive's overall success to the many faculty groups, bus drivers, school support personnel, local businesses and private citizens who contributed to the project.
Almost four dozen gift baskets were donated for a halftime giveaway. Many faculty and family members, including one gourmet grandfather, prepared cookies, cakes and pies for the bake sale held the day of the game. The students said they're grateful to all the people who turned out in support of the event.
Beyond the giveaway, participants had many other ways to win prizes. Donations from Deliman's Village Bakery and the Jenny Lee Restaurant meant halftime shooters could score such child-friendly trophies as subs, pizza or wings.
As was the case with the previous fundraiser, Coach Moore said she will forward the money directly to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. She said that would happen as soon as all of the players had collected their pledges.
"That place (Roswell) has helped so many people I've known, I'm sure the money will be put to good use there," she said.